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News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Deadline placed on civic center plan


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A family takes advantage of the unseasonably warm January weather to lunch outside at the Los Altos Civic Center on Hillview Avenue. The complex housing a community center, city hall and police station is the subject of renovation plans.

One of the Los Altos City Council’s priorities for 2014 now has a deadline.

Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers told the Town Crier that the city’s process to update its Civic Center Master Plan – which would include updated plans to replace Hillview Community Center with a modern multiuse structure – will be complete in approximately 10 months. The city council established the timeline for the project at a Jan. 14 study session.

“This is a very aggressive schedule, but we think we can meet it. The short time frame will help us stay focused,” said Somers, who was slated to unveil a more detailed process schedule at the Jan. 28 council meeting, held after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Somers noted that the effort isn’t necessarily meant to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the existing master plan for replacing the city’s aging civic center facilities – particularly Hillview. She said a large component to the update effort will be a comprehensive review and validation of information already contained in the original master plan, completed in June 2009. Somers added that she believes “the majority” of the information in the current master plan will remain valid.

“There’s a lot of good work already done on what are the (public’s) interests and needs,” said Somers, who retained the services of Anderson Brulé Architects to develop an updated master plan.

Still, Somers noted that the update will explore new aspects for consideration as part of the master plan. During the hour-plus study session, several councilmembers expressed a desire to examine the benefits, drawbacks and costs associated with underground parking as part of a new community center. Two councilwomen – Val Carpenter and Jan Pepper – also shared their desire for adding a community pool facility option to the master plan update.

“We’ll see during public engagement opportunities where that falls out,” Somers said of the idea to add underground parking to a community center design concept. “It is obviously a more costly option.”

According to Somers, another key aspect to the update includes gathering ample feedback from residents.

The 10-month schedule, she said, will include no less than eight opportunities for residents to offer feedback and suggestions on various elements – such as a community center design concepts and programming needs – from the beginning to the end of the update process. Those opportunities, she added, could ultimately come in the form of workshops, city council study sessions and other public events.

Somers said the city will also look at ways to engage residents online as part of the update process.

“Not everyone is going to be interested in every element we’re trying to validate,” she said. “There are going to be different groups of constituents interested in different things.”

Somers said she hopes that the update process will lead to its intended consequence – a new community center building all residents can enjoy for decades to come.

“I think the community will really benefit from having a comprehensive multigeneration, multipurpose community center,” she said. “We have one (currently), but obviously without the quality that the community desires.”

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